The cold truth of the White Sox's miserable season was exposed Saturday on national television, bringing manager Ozzie Guillen to a brutal admission.
After watching relievers Ehren Wassermann, Boone Logan and Dewon Day walk five consecutive batters that led to a season-high seven runs allowed in the seventh inning of an 11-2 loss to the Red Sox, Guillen admitted the Sox aren't capable of making a run with the bullpen and ballclub in its current horrible state.
"Right now, July 21, nope," Guillen said. "I don't see it. We talk about the bullpen, but we only had [seven] hits too. It's going to be tough. You have to be honest because we are facing pretty good ballclubs, guys fighting for first place. To make a run, we have to be perfect every day. And I don't see us being perfect every day."
The ERA of the Sox's bullpen swelled to 6.06—just ahead of Tampa Bay's major-league-worst 6.19 mark. Since May 8, the bullpen's ERA is 7.52.
The strike zone proved as elusive to the relievers as the visibility of general manager Ken Williams, who has been seen rarely in Boston with the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline approaching.
Saturday's ending was so tedious that starter John Danks threw 90 pitches in six innings, two more pitches than the Sox's relievers hurled in the final two innings.
"I can't even say it's disappointing anymore," Guillen said. "I think it was funny. We are on national TV.
"I was making fun of Coop (pitching coach Don Cooper). I said, 'When you go out there, make sure they know who is the pitching coach of the ballclub.' "
Wassermann, Logan and Day weren't on the Opening Day roster but have benefited from the failures of Andrew Sisco, David Aardsma and Nick Masset.
The failures and call-ups have stretched the Sox's depth and options.
"That's up to Kenny," Guillen said of possible changes. "You look at our lineup and that's a pretty good lineup. I think the lineup we have, we can compete. The bullpen is a different scenario because we have a couple of kids who aren't supposed to be here try to help us. Day in and day out, seeing the same stuff, I guess Kenny has some different ideas. Right now I just keep playing the guys I have here.
"But if we keep playing like this, believe me, there is going to be some change."
Veteran catcher Toby Hall preached patience for the relievers.
"You just have to be supportive and try to guide them in the right way," Hall said. "They're out there trying their best. They're trying to get outs, they're trying to stay here, they're trying to show … they can pitch at this level.
"[But the] bottom line is, either you do it or you don't. The people who do it, they stay. That's how this game is. If you don't, you go."
The five walks in the seventh came after two outs, starting with an intentional walk to Manny Ramirez with Eric Hinske on second.
Logan walked J.D. Drew on four pitches and Jason Varitek worked Day for a 12-pitch bases-loaded walk after falling behind 0-2. That led to Coco Crisp's two-run single and Hinske's two-run triple.
"We ruined a good outing by Danks," Guillen said. "Unfortunately, it makes it worse because we spent like 20 or 25 minutes and we only made one play in the field."
The offense struggled for the second straight game, managing only two hits in seven innings off rookie Kason Gabbard as the Sox fell to 7-18 in games against left-handed starters.